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Imagine: You exit your residence hall hurriedly to give the illusion of having places to go and people to see. You start walking in what you think might be the right direction but is actually the exact opposite way you need to go.
Take out your phone so you can appear to be virtually socializing when in reality you are checking your map application. Resist the urge to grab the map of campus from your backpack and proceed to confidently stride in the wrong direction.
Welcome to freshman year. You are adorably clueless. The good news? We all are.
Fresh-off-the-boat freshmen often don a façade of immediate acclamation to their new college lifestyle to counteract their underlying insecurities on the matter. We cling to our pride because God forbid someone sees us struggle whether it be with making friends, homesickness, finding our way around campus, or doing our laundry for the first time. As this epidemic of feigned fineness spreads, our fears and abundant emotions are sadly forgotten.
The funny thing is, somewhere in the back of our minds we realize that we are being crazy. Deep down we know that every freshman feels anxious about fitting into their new community. Thus, we intuitively comprehend that the lone underclassman sitting at a dining hall table is not as fascinated by their phone as they seem and would probably appreciate some company.
Nevertheless, we continue to give off the impression that all is well despite the fact that we just toppled off our bike on Colorado Avenue and are the proud owner of a hemorrhaging ankle (naturally we belittle the issue, telling ourselves that the blood trail from our new injury will be helpful in finding our way home).
By writing off our internal woes as petty problems, we become our own bully and hinder ourselves from seeking the help we need throughout our freshman year.
For the benefit of the freshmen class’s well-being, I declare an intervention.
Freshman year is a time for trial and error—lots of error. If we don’t accept the fact that we will be doing idiotic things on a daily basis, then how are we ever supposed to evolve into those confident upperclassmen we all want to become? The easiest way to come to terms with our recent anxieties is to revel in their awkwardness with our equally anxious companions.
The next time you and twelve of your peers have arrived to class twenty minutes early, instead of fiddling with your backpack zipper, turn to your neighbor and say, “I woke up two hours earlier than necessary because I knew it would take me forever to find this place.”
Await an enthusiastic “me too!” or a sympathetic laugh and confession of their own. Trust me, we all have them.
Soon the admissions will start bubbling out of your mouth as if you’re at some support group and are finally opening up about your troubles after years of repression. They’re coming hard and fast, and you can’t stop yourself from telling everyone you see how you wait to exit the showers so nobody has to see you in a towel or how you feel physically ill when entering the dining hall and can’t spot a familiar face to sit with.
Now, instead of being joined by mutual secrecy, it’s time that the CU freshmen bond over their shared distress.
While this may not make all of the trepidations of freshman year melt away, it certainly helps to know that when you’re lying in bed at night missing your dog while simultaneously hoping you don’t fall to your death from your lofted bed, Jenny from down the hall is probably doing the same.
Take a look at some of the members of the class of 2015 on their first day at CU!
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lizzy Hernandez at Elizabeth.email@example.com